Wednesday, October 23, 2013


It is impossible to get the right answer if you ask the wrong question. Recently a survey was sent out by a mainline denomination in an attempt to determine how they were doing overall, and in four targeted areas of ministry. The questions were about determining ministry and program priorities for the denomination, local churches and their members.

This modus operandi of having ministry programs determined by the upper echelon of an organization, with the expectation of support from it's the members, can tend to usurp the Lordship of Christ in the church. It can also place an unsupportable burden on the shoulders of clergy and other administrators by expecting them to promote support for these programs.

Ministry goals and opportunities that trickle down from administration to individual members encourage individuals to allow the work of the denomination to become a substitute for a personal relationship with Christ. This often takes the place of personal involvement in God’s work, as well, since sometimes it's easier to just send a check!

The problem, which was identified in 1932, was that some denominational churches were becoming powerful philanthropic organization, but were waning as houses of faith.  Not once in the Bible did God speak to or through an organization. Though the Pharisees liked to claim that honor.  No, He spoke to individuals. And when He did, it was a one on one, faith required, life changing experience.

The people He spoke to always knew exactly what God was calling them to do, and in the New Testament, it was up to the churches, the Body of Christ, to support the God given assignments people received.  This Biblical model of ministry exudes the power of God flowing through individuals and gives Him the glory.

Christ calls the church to equip His people, not to set their priorities for them.  That's His job.  So, in my opinion, instead of  "Are we focused on the right priorities?" the question should have been, "Are we focused on preparing people spiritually, so they are ready when God calls?"

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service..." Ephesians 4:11-12


  1. The author is quite right in her observations of the pitfalls of those who are isolated from hands-on ministry by their lofty positions in church hierarchy attempting to establish direction, policy and programs for the church through online polls. Central to any decision-making within the Lord's church is the practice of discernment. The Holy Spirit should be at the heart of guiding the church to do a new thing, not While the mainline denominational continues to founder in the new millennium, solutions which some are utilizing include features found in cyberspace rather than employing their knees. This illustrates the serious disconnect of our top spiritual leaders with that which we look to them for - spiritual leadership.
    As that spiritual disconnect has broadened over the years the mainline church has lapsed into the false belief that man can establish an agenda to build God's kingdom and He will therefore automatically bless the enterprise. Hence, the electronic survey which gives one a limited set of predetermined choices and the answer with the highest score becomes the "right" answer for the new direction of the church. Wrong! Rather than man charting the destiny of the church with the expectation that God will bless the results of the survey we should instead invest in a time of discernment to allow the Spirit to guide us to where God is leading and to show us what he is already blessing. As long as the mainline denominational church continues to inhibit the actions of God with man's limited focus it will never begin to realize the unlimited power and authority already vested in the Bride of Christ.

  2. I Love your statement "And when He did [speak to people], it was a one on one, faith required, life changing experience." That is so dead on. It is always a 'faith required' transaction. and your question at the end is spot on. That really does need to be our focus. Beautiful said.